Birman

Personality:

  • Gentle, quiet, and unobtrusive.
  • Affectionate and people-oriented.
  • Considered a cat of mystery and legend.

History:

Believed to have originated in Burma, where the Birman was considered the sacred cat of the Kittah priests.  A legend states that the Birman’s blue eyes come from a temple goddess and that its white feet (referred to as “gloves”) come from the head priest.  In 1919, a pair of Birmans were shipped from Burma to France.  The male did not survive.  The kittens of the pregnant female became the foundation stock of the Birman breed in France.  At the end of World War II only two Birmans were left alive in Europe, requiring an outcrossing program to re-establish the breed.  Birmans were exported to the United States from France in 1959 and were accepted for championship in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1967.

Body Type:

  • Large, elongated, and stocky.
  • Head is broad and rounded with medium, rounded ears.
  • Eyes are deep blue, round, and set well apart.

Coat:

  • Non-mat, silky coat is medium long to long with a heavy ruff.  With the exception of the white gloves on feet, the Birman is a pointed cat.
  • In CFA, points may be seal, blue, chocolate and lilac.
  • The International Cat Association (TICA) accepts many more colors, including lynx point and tortie point.
  • Body color should be in strong contrast with the points and have a faint, golden-beige cast that is referred to as golden mist.
  • White feet (gloves) are not found in any other breed and cannot be explained by geneticists

Health and Wellness:

  • Neonatal isoerythrolysis.
  • Hip dysplasia.

What you should know:

  • Even though the silky texture of the Birman coat is non-matting, regular grooming will keep your Birman looking its best.